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How Shahzad Ismaily Became Musicians’ Favourite Musician

When he was a month old, his parents learned their only child had ectodermal dysplasias, a rare genetic disorder that produces abnormalities at the body’s surface, including fingernails and teeth. Five decades later, Ismaily has become one of music’s most in-demand collaborators, flitting like a mischievous butterfly through genres as diverse as honeyed folk, rambunctious free jazz and spectral meditations sung in Urdu. He does not think these facts are unrelated.